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“One of the most important things parents can convey to their kids is that they’re always going to be there for them,” he says.

No matter who your teen chooses to date, remember that romantic relationships are a healthy part of adolescence, Scott says.

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©/ wundervisuals In one year, you’ve watched the girl who needed constant reminders to wash her face and brush her teeth grow into a young woman who hogs the bathroom and is ready for her first boyfriend.

The transition to dating can be emotional not only for her, but also for you.

Teen boys and girls feel pressure to have sex for different reasons, but engaging in sexual activity is a means of validation for both.

Scott says it’s important to talk with your sons and daughters about dating and what makes for an appropriate romantic relationship—preferably when they’re pre-teens.

We are not genetically predisposed to deal with such things. Double duty In my house, we allowed dating to start at 9th grade.

But for my daughter, the boy had to be willing to go on a "double date" with my husband and I first.“They may offer vague advice such as, ’Take care of yourself,’ instead of addressing specific issues.Specific conversations can be uncomfortable, but they help convey a clearer message.” Scott suggests asking your child if any of his or her friends are dating, and if they are, she recommends asking about those relationships. How can you tell if someone is showing you the respect you deserve? • Your partner forces you to have sex against your will.“Teens are far less likely to confide in you in the future if you forbid them to date,” she says.Above all, keep the conversation going with your son and daughter, says Scott.Having sex with an older partner at a young age is also linked to reduced contraceptive use, and higher risk of both teen pregnancy and acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD).